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The Venetian Judgment Hardcover – April 16, 2009

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of bestseller Stone's formulaic third thriller to feature CIA cleaner Micah Dalton (after The Orpheus Deception), Dalton takes revenge late one night outside Venice's Piazza San Marco on one of the Serbian thugs responsible for the death of his lover, Cora Vasari. Dalton's actions result in his becoming involved in the search for a high-level traitor in the CIA's ranks, who's believed to be behind the brutal murder of elderly Mildred Durant, an unofficial adviser to an NSA decryption team known as the Glass Cutters, in her London home. Durant worked on the Venona Project, the interception of Soviet cable traffic, during the cold war. It appears Stalin had a source close to Roosevelt who was never exposed. While no one will mistake Stone for John le Carré, series fans are sure to root for the unstoppable Dalton, compared at one point to the newly risen Christ, only blond and not quite so loving, with a bullet scar on one cheek and no intention at all of turning the other. (Apr.)
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About the Author

David Stone is the cover name for a man born into a military family with a long history of honorable service. Stone served in the military, has worked as an intelligence officer and as an investigator for a state-level law enforcement agency, and has lived and worked in North America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (April 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399155732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155734
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Stone is the cover name for a man born into a military family with a long history of honorable service. Stone has served in the military, has worked as an intelligence officer and as an investigator for a state-level law enforcement agency, and has lived and worked in North America, Central America, and Southeast Asia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Fan on August 10, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
This will probably seem like an unlikely compliment for a spy thriller in which many people are ruthlessly, brutally murdered, but The Venetian Judgment is quite beautifully written. There's no doubt that David Stone knows his stuff, as the terminology used throughout the book makes that clear, but what struck me as particularly intriguing is his writing style, which is far more lyrical and, dare I say poetic, than your typical espionage author's. Granted, some of Stone's sentences are the longest I've ever read, but at least they're full of vivid similes and metaphors that take the reader on a meandering path that's no hardship to travel. Many times, I forgot that I was reading prose written by a former intelligence officer (no insult meant to those in that profession!). It just seems to be a book written by someone who loves words more than guns and violence.

Plot-wise, I enjoyed the parallel storylines. I tend to prefer books in which the main character receives the most screentime, but I was happy to make an exception in this case because the second storyline is exciting in its own way. I also especially enjoyed the opening. After recently reading and reviewing another famous spy author who's fallen into the trap of formula, it was refreshing to read the opening of The Venetian Judgment, which plunges you straight into the action and the main character's suicidal thought processes (along with some fond descriptions of Venice).

Micah Dalton remains one of my favorite characters and his interactions with Mandy are a lot of fun. Micah sounds a little too British sometimes for my taste but I suppose Mandy's wearing off on him. As a pair they're fun but sharp, never getting corny or schmoopy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Manfred Rohrauer on August 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Venetian Judment is the 3rd book in a series of adventures of Micah Dalton, an unvoluntarily-gone-rogue CIA operative. The first book got off to a slow start but developed well, the second was slightly better than the first one but this one is REALLY good. It's fast written, the characters are very well carved out by now and the places of events sizzle with action. I have to admit I am a hard-core crime and spy novel reader but Venetian Judgment has been the first book for a long time that really made it difficult for me to put it down. Now looking forward to the 4th part, Skorpion Directive. Thanks to Mr. Stone for entertaining me so well, please keep up your good work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
David Stone is my primary "cross the street" author. People who know me cross the street when they see me coming because I will probably begin and end the conversation by telling them about the new David Stone book, or his last one, or all of them. Instead of crossing the street, they should listen. Stone is the real deal. Even if that is not his real name.

David Stone has three novels to his credit under that name --- THE ECHELON VENDETTA, THE ORPHEUS DECEPTION, and the newly released THE VENETIAN JUDGMENT --- and combined they would make one long, wild, 1,200-page book that would read as fast as a 20-page short story. They feature a CIA cleaner named Micah Dalton, who is not in the best graces of his agency due to a penchant that compels him to pursue a course of conduct that more often than not goes against orders but results in his usually getting the job done better than anyone else. While complete in itself, each volume also picks up immediately from where the last left off.

So it is that THE VENETIAN JUDGMENT begins with Dalton in Venice pursuing a bloody vengeance against the Serbian gang of thugs who shot and grievously wounded his lover in THE ORPHEUS DECEPTION. Quickly finding himself to be persona non grata for turning the romantic city into his own personal killing field, Dalton is handed a golden opportunity to keep his hands busy and happy while possibly putting himself back into the good graces of his erstwhile employer.

A small group of CIA employees known as the Glass Cutters specializes in decryption. While working on a top secret project that involves Deacon Cather, Dalton's erstwhile mentor, one of their London members is brutally murdered after being subjected to unspeakable tortures.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 7, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like David Stones previous books, so i was looking forward to reading this one. He is a great author but I just could not get into the book. It seemed too disjointed, and a little slow. I will still read his next book just because I think this was a speed bump in an other wise great authors career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Rózsa on April 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading this third book in the Micah Dalton series I found myself re-reading entire paragraphs for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the writing. If you look at the readers' reviews you can see that, starting with the first book, each subsequent book got higher ratings. I wondered if I missed the quality of writing in the initial novels, but clearly, David Stone has seriously improved his writing skills. Either that, or he was particularly inspired when he wrote "The Venetian Judgment." Ignore the editorial review, it's simply uninformed and plain wrong. To be sure, if all you are looking for is plot and action, you may be disappointed. OTOH, of you like action, intrigue, AND a fine turn of the phrase, this book will please you. Publisher's Weekly states "While no one will mistake Stone for John le Carré..."[...]. Well I think whoever wrote that didn't read the book. Besides, why would we want another le Carré when we can have a Stone? Dig this.. "Guinness was a great antidote to existential conundrums, so he had a few, and waited, and the hours passed, and the rain fell in steady wind-drive sheets, and the passerby made their molelike way back and forth in the driving rain, with their collars up and their heads down, grimly enduring the rising damp and the ague-inducing chills of a dreary English winter that was making the venerable old town seem like one huge concentration camp smacked down in the middle of a swamp. In other words, utter dank misery, relieved every now and then by flashes of dismal gloom." You get it, don't you, even if you have never been to England during winter-time. Well, I for one, am shivering....brrrr. To paraphrase one of my heroes, I don't care who ya are, that's good writin' right there."
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